80 indigenous and community communicators strengthen their MIL capacities to fight disinformation
To equip people with the knowledge and skills to understand the functions of the media, critically evaluate the content they disseminate, make informed decisions, and respond appropriately to misinformation, UNESCO, the Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE), Deutsche Welle Akademie, and Comunicares Association, held a workshop for indigenous and community communicators about Media and Information Literacy (MIL).
On October 27 and 28, communicators from Sonora, Sinaloa, State of Mexico, Mexico City, and other Mexican states, participated in the workshop “Todas y todos contra la desinformación” (All against disinformation). During that session, they acnowledged the skills and tools provided MIL for the development of a more reliable communication system that allows people to minimize the risks of false, malicious, or erroneous news that also circulate through social networks and digital platforms.
13 of the participants are Nahuatl speakers, 9 are Mayan speakers, and the rest of them speaks one of the other 44 indigenous languages (and Spanish). Most of the participants work at community radio, television, newspapers, and digital media, which allows MIL strategy to empower citizens in their relations with the media, and communication to extend to more people in Mexico, mainly those who belong to the most vulnerable communities, including indigenous communities.
Representatives and collaborators of organizations such as Asociación Mundial de Radios Comunitarias de México (AMARC) and the Sistema de Radiodifusoras del Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas (INPI) were part of the workshop developed by the Comunicares Organization.
At the end of the workshop and through an evaluation, the participants expressed their interest in the learning process. They even requested more opportunities to “learn about the media and the challenges that it faces in today´s social network environment. They also wanted to know how to use tools to inform and to communicate.
The workshop was conducted by Comunicares Association, partner of DW Akademie in media and information literacy teaching projects, especially when it comes to indigenous communities. The DW Akademie is Deutsche Welle’s center for international media development, journalism training, and knowledge transfer. Through its projects, it strengthens the human right to freedom of opinion and free access to information. It also implements Media and Information Literacy in practice. The workshop is part of the DW Akademie’s Campus AMI Central America digital meeting series within the framework of UNESCO’s Global MIL Week.
The National Electoral Institute was in charge of the calling for the workshop through the Local Boards, who sent the invitation to the community media of their entities. Likewise, it offered the webinar that closed the workshop, called “Media in a democratic context to strengthen the role of the media in the dissemination of true information to help in the construction of an informed, committed, and empowered society.
The workshop is part of the cooperation agreement signed by UNESCO and INE on October 26, 2020, in a ceremony presided over by the UNESCO Representative in Mexico, Frédéric Vacheron, and the President of INE, Lorenzo Córdova Vianello. This ceremony marked the beginning of AMI Week in the country.
Global MIL Week
With the topic “Resisting Disinfodemics: Media and Information Literacy for All and by All,” the Global Media and Information Literacy Week (GMW) 2020 runs from October 24th to October 31st. This is a response to the growth in misinformation that has accompanied the current SARS-CoV2 pandemic. It also highlights the need to “improve the skills of all people to interact critically with information, media and technology.
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